Real joy. Real struggle.
And the very real Jesus who leads me through it all.
Have you been out digging for hidden treasures lately? My kids sure have. We like to collect sea shells on the lake shores in the summertime and then bury them in our sandbox. Now that all the snow has disappeared from the sandbox, my kids have been playing in it all week, finding many a hidden (and forgotten) sea shell. Each one is discovered with great excitement: “Mom! Look what I found!”
Yet oftentimes the treasure hunting at our house consists of things much less exciting: lifting up couches and crawling under tables in search of lost legos, puzzle pieces, library books, hair brushes, and shoes. For me, seeking lost treasure usually means scrambling to find my phone or my slippers.
Our days are often filled with the mindless scrambling and searching for things that are hopelessly mundane and humorously monotonous. Don’t we find ourselves searching for the exact same boring things every single day? Looking for all our crap is actually like the antithesis of treasure hunting; our near-sighted obsession with the mundane clouds our hearts from thinking that a true treasure could ever really be found. Young children are still able to hold onto the wonder of hidden treasure, but sadly most of us adults have lost our ability for wonder.
Last fall God told me to turn off my computer for an unknown amount of time. (Actually God told Paul and Paul told me...God probably knew I'd need to hear that from both him and Paul.) To stop writing, stop blogging, and laser-focus on mothering. We thought it was probably going to be for a couple weeks. Five months later, I’m just now writing again. My days have been rich and full of digging for treasure. Playing, reading, diving deep into Scripture, doing puzzles, going to bed early, running. Through it all, much treasure has been found – the hidden treasures of taking the time to say “yes” to my children, of reading with my girls past their bedtimes, of getting more sleep than I’ve gotten in a decade, of drinking coffee with my 90 year old grandfather, of simply not rushing. Treasure hunting has been sweet for my soul, and I’ve learned much – simple lessons that have helped our days go more smoothly and made our family time richer, and weighty lessons that are impacting our marriage and the ways in which we raise our children. I look forward to writing about it all.
But first, I’d like to share what God showed me the other day about the greatest treasure of all treasures:
“Indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:3-6)
To know God – that alone is the truest treasure. Amidst a world full of false and less-than treasures, knowing God and receiving his wisdom is the greatest thing on which we ought to set our hearts. To seek wisdom more earnestly than I seek for my missing iPhone is a convicting invitation. My phone is cracked, scratched, and has been in the toilet. A treasure it is not. But sadly I search for it way more than I search for the wisdom of God. Yet I need God a bazillion times more than I need that silly cracked phone. And silver? Can you imagine having storehouses upon storehouses of silver that never ever runs out but is always full and plentiful, available for anyone who desires to share in the wealth? Do I run after the wisdom of God like I would an endless supply of silver? No, I don’t. I want to though. Oh, how I want a heart that desires God and his wisdom more than anything else.
I also love this vision of “crying aloud for understanding.” Life has a way of quickly bringing us to the end of ourselves…showing us how very little knowledge we actually have, and we are left to only to “cry aloud” for understanding. Except often we don’t. Oh, we might cry out loud…ask any woman who’s about two weeks post-partum if she’s wept out loud yet from the overwhelmingness of motherhood…she sure has. Or any woman who’s lain on the floor with her tantrumming three-year-old and just joined in the crying. Or when the disobedience soars, the attitudes spike, and the doors slam. Yes and amen we cry out loud. But do we cry aloud to God? Too often we turn to some lesser source or ignore our issues altogether. But oh, if we would cry aloud to the One who actually knows the answers…God says that is exactly where wisdom begins. It’s a lost treasure that is sure to be found if we only seek it.
One of the hardest things about mothering without a mother is not having her to call for the thousands of motherhood questions I need to ask. Not a day goes by that I don't need to call my mom. Many of my friends who’ve also lost their moms share my struggle. Mothering without a mother is just plain hard and unnatural. And yet, let us remember that there is a God who created each one of our kids and who knows them intimately – who knows everything about each of our kids. We have a God who knows our kids way better than even we know our kids. We have a God who has counted the numbers of hairs on our children’s heads and even knows the count of our kids’ days on earth. In the little things and the weighty things, God invites us to ask him – to call on him before we call our moms or best friends: “Call to me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things that you don’t know.” (Jeremiah 33:3). Other translations of Scripture use the words incomprehensible and unsearchable. Um, yes please! Talk about hidden treasure! Who doesn’t want that??
When we seek God’s wisdom as if we were searching for silver or hidden treasures, when we cry out to God for understanding, he is eager and ready to impart to us great, mighty, incomprehensible, unsearchable knowledge about himself, his love, his truth, his plans for us, and his plans for our kids.
Let us seek this above all else. Let's not get nearsighted by the monotonous and the mundane.
Let’s go treasure hunting.